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Pain Med. 2000 Mar;1(1):44-54.

Assessing individual outcomes during outpatient multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment by means of an augmented SF-36.

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The Health Institute, Boston, MA, USA.



To meet the growing demand for objective outcomes measurement during treatment of chronic pain, we developed an instrument to track outcomes of individual patients.


In a 2-phase study, existing and novel outcomes instruments were applied in an interdisciplinary pain management program. In the initial phase, 408 patients were administered the Short Form 36-item questionnaire and during phase 2, 437 patients (87 of whom were followed) were given an expanded (191-item) questionnaire.


When applied to individual patients, the Short Form 26-item questionnaire lacked measurement reliability for assessment of treatment outcomes and sensitivity to upper extremity or facial pathology, and failed to separate limitations of work versus everyday activity. A novel group of scales derived from responses to 61 questions, including the Short Form 36-item questionnaire, proved sufficiently reliable for routine follow-up of individual chronic pain patients.


This new Treatment Outcomes in Pain Survey allows assessment of individual patient outcomes, and aggregate or individual clinician performance, during interdisciplinary treatment of chronic pain.

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